AgronomyDiseasesPotato pest worries farmers in Australia

Potato pest worries farmers in Australia

-

Potato producers in southwest Western Australia say the detection of the tomato potato psyllid is a “serious blow” to their industry.

The psyllid is known to attack a range of plants in the Solanaceae family, including potato and also sweet potato.

It is the first time the pest has been detected in Australia. It has so far been detected in tomatoes and eggplants in Perth, in tomatoes at two properties in Mount Hawthorn, in chilies at a property in Palmyra and in a capsicum crop on a commercial property north of Perth.

While the psyllid does not pose risk to human health, it feeds on plants, causing yellowing of the leaves and misshapen fruit, and in severe cases it can kill the plant entirely.

However, there is not only concern for the psyllid. More of a worry to southwest Western Australian producers is the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, which causes the zebra chip disease in potatoes, rendering them completely unmarketable.

The Liberibacter has not yet been discovered with the psyllid in Australia, but scientists are concerned because its pathway is unknown.

Due to its size, it is believed the psyllid can easily spread throughout a region on people, plants or wind currents — a prospect of serious concern to the Western Australian potato industry.

There are concerns the psyllid could impact international export markets.

Source: abc.net.au

Trending This Week

Bar 9 Farms cover crop

Stopping Disappearing Soil on Bar 9 Farms in Alberta

0
Reducing soil erosion is the goal for Neil and James Bareman on their potato farm, Bar 9 Farms, in southern Alberta. Farming in southern Alberta...
Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetles Break Down, Regrow Muscle to Survive Winter

0
New research from Western University has discovered hibernating Colorado potato beetles (CPBs) break down muscles to survive winters and then regrow them on demand...
Yellow potatoes

Mid-season Crop Nutrition: How’s Your Boron?

Want more from your potato crop? Better quality and yield may come from boron. I sat down with University of Manitoba Plant Scientist Mark...
Ontario potato crop

Ontario Potato Research Open House Happening Aug. 17

0
The Ontario Potato Research Open House is happening on Aug. 17 at the Elora Research Station, a July 26 emailed announcement said. The open...
Colomba potatoes

Manitoba Tuber Set Numbers Looking Good

0
With temperatures having hit the upper 20 C range and the low teens overnight, it has been good for tuberization of Manitoba potato crops, the...